Hong Kong is a place brimming with talented and intriguing people. In 27 Questions, we get up close and personal with notable local personalities, learning their whims & aversions, pivotal life moments, hopes & dreams — all in roughly the same amount of time that it takes to power through a round of speed dating.
Many of the world’s best bartenders tend to downplay their skill as something of a teachable one: after all, when you’re making hundreds of cocktails a week, it’s undeniable that a certain degree of the work is going to devolve into muscle memory. Modesty aside, characterising bartending as a learned skill perfected through repetition, feels a trifle dismissive when applied to individuals like Imelda Ng — the assistant manager of Caprice Bar and, incidentally, one of Hong Kong’s most promising young “star-tenders”.
Unlike many notable players in the industry — who paint a picture of toiling in obscurity for many years before developing a following — Ng’s talent for shaking, stirring and all things mixological was apparent relatively early on. Within a year of picking up the proverbial jigger, she secured her first accolade at the Tag No 5 Vodka Competition and followed up with a string of regional victories culminating in the creation of “Asia’s best G&T” (East Imperial Gin Jubilee 2017). Now the assistant manager at Caprice Bar — Four Seasons Hong Kong’s award-winning watering hole, affiliated with the Michelin-starred fine diner of the same name — Ng took time out of her busy schedule to answer our signature questionnaire. Check out her full response below!
Name: Imelda Ng
Occupation: Assistant Bar Manager
“Bring happiness to everyone.”
BBQ pork rice garnished with a healthy heaping of geung yeong (i.e. chopped spring onions and ginger).
I worked at one of the florists in the Mong Kok Flower Market when I was 16.
Depends on where I am and on my mood!
Never — I don’t have a driver’s licence. But I do have a diver’s licence.
The staircase, because it’s a part of my cat’s playground.
Given that I work in bars, I’d definitely say night owl.
Either variation of siu mai (pork or fish) would be fine.
I have no regrets.
Once a week.
It was actually this April. I was taking some of my Swiss and German friends from Central to TST, so we could check out a few bars and then walk around Temple Street.
It usually involves a champagne brunch with friends or picnicking with my family.
One of my cocktail competitions in Bangkok.
Gold Coast, Australia.
If they have a healthy love for and appreciation of food.
Any cha chaan teng close to my house.
I actually owned a pet hamster (called “Mei Mei”) without their knowledge when I was 8. A classmate of mine brought it to school and I bought it for HK$6.
Home-style Cantonese cooking.
It’s a tie between tom kha gai (coconut chicken soup) or dumplings.
Honestly? I wish I could remember! I’m not a particularly studious person.
Not yet, but perhaps in the future.
Around 20, four of which are work shoes.
Around 11, I think.
I don’t know that it’s unique, but I’m pretty good at connecting with everybody in a convivial situation. My comedic timing isn’t bad either: I can usually think of something funny to say at the exact right moment so as to keep the people around me happy.